A new kids’ book, inspired by #sandpapergate


For the past two weeks, it seems my reading has been confined to two types of publishing – children’s books and articles on #sandpapergate.


I like kids books. The rhythmic positivity that you find in them are usually an antidote to any ‘adult’ concerns you may have (like your team being cheats).


One of my son’s favourites is ‘Cowzat!’. It’s produced in conjunction with Cricket Australia….and you can tell. Although it’s a pleasure to read, the final scene details a outfielder dropping a catch, thus enabling the batsmen to run a three and win the game. Except they don’t. They ‘decide that two was plenty and declare the game a draw’.


Just oh so ‘spirit of cricket’ isn’t it? Just a bit unrealistic too. Especially given all the characters are cows.


So, as with any parent onto their 1000th read of their kid’s favourite, I’ve decided “I reckon I can do better”.


I just hope all this cheating business hasn’t turned me sour…

Back in the year 2000, change was everywhere,

A fear of a big scary bug drove us to despair,

But there was one group that kept us going and allowed us all to dream,

The bastions of fair play – our Aussie cricket team


The man in charge was ‘Tugga’, born of steel and tons of grit,

(and not walking unless the umpire said it was definitely hit).

He’d say ‘baggy green and this red hanky, represents our nation.

Well, that and some large doses of mental disintegration!’


The hero was always Warney – the bowler with the flipper,

He’d send down a million balls while talking about your sister,

He’d ooh and aah and if he got you, all day he would boast,

Then after play he’d smile and have you ‘round for cheese on toast

He’d laugh and drink and story-tell and swear that he’s your friend

But next day, sure as hell, he’d be on your sis’ again….


Next in charge was Punter, he was a punchy Tassie devil,

Though with many years and lots of runs, he began to settle,

But losing to England in ‘05 really left him flat,

For years after he couldn’t sleep, having terrors of Gary Pratt

And by the time the Aussies came to host a team from India,

Punter found it necessary to give the ump ‘the finger’


Next in charge was Pup. He was a modern man.

Pup just thought, ‘I’ll have a laugh and score all the runs I can’

But being trendy didn’t help, he was just labelled ‘soft’

So he changed tack, just to ensure he could hold ‘the urn’ aloft

‘Now Jim,’ said Pup, ‘I know that this may cause you some alarm,’

‘But we’d really like to see if we can break your f***g arm!’

But losses in England did Pup in, he really had to budge,

So we settled on a quinella – Little Davey and Captain Smudge


Now Davey he had all the shots – from the drive through to the pull. 

He used to be ‘the reverend’, but now he is ‘The Bull’!

But over in South Africa, under the glorious Table Mountain,

the Aussies were losing badly, so Davey started shoutin’.

He snatched the ball and barked aloud ‘this is a simple caper,

‘all you need is some dry hands and a bit of this sandpaper!’

‘Oh gee’, said Captain Smudge ‘I’m not sure this is fine’

‘Better grab young Bancroft if you’re going near ‘the line’.

‘Pick me!’ said Cam, a willing lad who pined to please his skip,

‘If I assist’, he thought, ‘maybe they’ll let my poor form slip’.

So when the session started, Cam thought he’d take a chance,

But soon enough the big screen showed the sandpaper in his pants!

Coach Boof looked up, opened his mouth, and said ‘Golly, what a dunce!’

“Yes I’m coach and boss and all, but I can’t be everywhere at once!’


The fallout was explosive, just as ruthless as a vulture,

And no one cares for winning now, it’s just all about ‘the culture’

So Tugga, Warney, Pup and Punter shoot opinions out like rockets,

And we wish for the old days – when we had hankys in our pockets.


About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    You had me at #sandpapergate!

    Best laugh I have had for awhile. You have this children’s book caper all sewn up. Look forward to it being published in hard copy!

  2. Andrew Else says

    Ha. Thanks Yvette!

    Would be a tough caper to break into. There are plenty of them! Definitely a gulf between the good and the bad though

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